Soap Stars Glam Up For Daytime Emmys

The Daytime Emmy awards air on CBS Friday night, but the actresses who will be walking the red carpet that night began their preparations weeks ago.

The Showbuzz tagged along in early May when "As The World Turns" stars Alexandra Chando and Terri Colombino met with celebrity stylist Felix Mercado to select their gowns for the awards ceremony, which will air live from the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. The afternoon included a photo shoot for CBS Soaps In Depth featured in the current issue.

"It's really important to have something that will sparkle on camera," says Colombino, who will be presenting an award during the telecast. "We found some beautiful things, but of course we can't say what it's going to be because then it won't be a surprise."

Photos: Daytime Stars Get Red Carpet Ready
"I told one of my friends, 'I'm going to pick out my Emmy dress tomorrow' and she was like 'what store?'" said Chando, who is nominated for outstanding actress in a drama series for her role as Maddie Coleman. "I told her 'no, no' we've got a stylist who's going to show us a bunch of dresses.'"

Mercado brought dozens of designer dresses, rows of shoes, and a huge collection of jewelry, bags and belts to Greg Weiner studios in lower Manhattan for the actresses to try on. Designers included Badgley Mischka, Joanna Mastroianni, Reem Acra, David Rodriguez, Priscilla of Boston/Melissa Sweet and John Galliano.

"There was a ton of different varieties and many different styles to choose from," said Chando. "Terri's right, we both need to sparkle and stand out and also feel comfortable in what we're wearing. That's a big key."

Chando and Colombino agreed that working with a stylist made the process so much easier.

"Felix is great," said Colombino. "I've worked with him before so he really knows my style and everything he brought was everything that I would have picked out. It's nice to have a relationship with someone like that where they know what you're gonna love."

Mercado puts in a lot of prep work before he even begins selecting dresses.

"I look at photos," he said. "I do my research and try to figure out their personalities in addition to what they've been doing before."

Don't expect to see any outrageous outfits on Mercado's clients, though.

"I like to streamline my client's look," he said. "I'm not interested in putting a client in, let's say, a strapless gown and I'm not going to put them in a necklace and a trumped up chandelier and bracelets. All that gaudiness — gone. It's all about very natural, very simple, kind of freeing in a sense. "

The 34th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards airs on CBS on June 15 at 9 p.m. ET.
By Judy Faber